Understanding Colostomy Bag Timing Post-Op

Jun 14, 2024 8:58 pm

I'm only 4 weeks post-op, but my bowels are starting to get into a rhythm.

Every morning, as soon as I wake up, my bowels start to move, which is good, but it sometimes takes up to 2 hours until things stop and I can finally change my bag and then get on with things. I'm not complaining, as it beats running to the toilet every 10 minutes as I was with colitis, but I'd just like to know if this is normal for it to take so long? Will things speed up/get easier? Or is this the norm?

I should add I had a loop colostomy. Once my bowels move in the morning, I rarely get much output for the rest of the day. Again, I'm not complaining, just curious.

Jun 15, 2024 6:54 am

Hello Ally.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I think you are very fortunate to have established such a helpful routine where there is little output after the first phase. 
It takes irrigation for me to have attained that same sort of experience.
Best wishes


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Jun 15, 2024 7:38 am

Hello ally

Four weeks is a very short period. In time, your new system will settle down more, and you will find the best times for changing appliances. Personally, it takes probably 5 hours for food to pass through me, but it also depends on what I have eaten, and it's not an exact science. As I work full time, I do my changes in the evening, before dinner or later at night, and sometimes it is producing output; you just learn to make it work. And as you will already have learned, everyone is different. In time, you will work out what is best for you; just let it come to you.

Jun 15, 2024 8:54 am

You have good bowels. 😁 Enjoy the freedom you have, knowing that once you're done, you're done for a while. Mine does the same, just not on any schedule and doesn't take that long... I go a lot for a while and then nothing or very little for up to two days.

Jun 15, 2024 10:00 pm

Things may adjust and normalize, but with mine, even after 4 months, Ms. Stoma had a mind of her own. Some days were good, some days were WHOOSH! I did get into her rhythm, learned when I needed to be near a restroom and when she would perhaps be quiet. And then there were times where I just had to deal. Glad things are going well for you.



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Jun 18, 2024 2:47 pm

Your output is still a long way from normalizing. It will take between 3 - 6 months. Your body is still healing. You may not have yet introduced all the foods you like into your diet. Some foods can trigger outputs. For instance, chocolate can have a laxative effect and trigger an output. For me, milk causes constipation whereas marshmallows slow my output. You didn't mention whether your output was thick or thin — thin output tends to be quicker. Whether you have three meals or 5 - 6 smaller meals has an influence on output — experiment to see if there is an influence on you. As for the two hours you mentioned, if my output is watery, it is much quicker than two hours, but if it is more solid, then it takes much longer than 2 hours. In time, you will learn how long it takes food to get through your digestive system. You will never be able to completely control your output, but you can have a large influence over it.